Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Glenn Graham (Committee Member), Carol Patitu (Committee Chair), Joanne Risacher (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sophomore college student retention rates are steadily decreasing across the United States. Sophomore students often experience a phenomenon entitled the sophomore slump where the lack of support they receive from their institutions impact their overall mental health, GPA, and retention. This study is a quantitative analysis investigating the impact of parental housing structure on the emotional independence and physical independence of college sophomore students at four-year public institutions. A fifteen question survey was used to measure parental housing structure, physical independence, and emotional independence. Participants were traditional sophomore college students who had completed between 30 and 59 credit hours, had been enrolled at same higher education institution for more than three semesters, but no longer than seven semesters, and were between the ages of 18 and 20. A total of 211 college sophomore students successfully completed the survey establishing a 19.11 percent response rate for the survey. Results indicated a statistically significant difference in physical independence based on parental housing structure (t(209) = -3.65, p < .01) and a significantly, large positive correlation between physical independence and emotional independence (r(209) = .43, n = 211, p = .00). There was not a statistically significant difference for emotional independence based on parental housing structure (t(209) = -1.70, p >.05). Limitations of this study, suggestions for future research, and implications for institutions of higher education were also discussed.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Leadership Studies in Education & Organizations

Year Degree Awarded